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Opinion: E3 – A New Hope?

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Written by Morgan Davis

Recently, in my digestion of general media, I was linked to the new E3 trailer for Saint’s Row 3.

Now, if you’ve seen the aforementioned video then there is no further need to explain why it is awesome. You know. If you don’t think it is – after watching it – you are the undead. Or a robot; in which case, I must tell you to get off the internet Skynet. There are things you won’t understand here.

However, for the sake of the unenlightened, I will describe in minor detail what occurs. A trio of well-dressed people exit a limo, shank a bouncer, get in an elevator up to a party, which is then interrupted by a localised world war 3. There’s also a hooded luche libre wrestler burying some poor sap’s face into the surface of a glass table. My poor summary does nothing to convey the sheer molten awesome pouring from this trailer. Watch it, watch it now. I don’t care if you’re being mauled by a bear. Intestines grow back.

Back to the story. From this proof of the existence of a beneficent God, I was linked to all of the other trailers, reveals and maguffins offered up to the public at this year’s E3. Consuming the entirety in one portion has led me into one inescapable conclusion.

We are in the Promised Land.

This is where the grass is greener.

While the last few years have had a series of incredible games (Modern Warfare 2, Halo 3, Mass Effect 1 & 2, Mario Galaxy, New Donkey Kong, etc. – not to mention the amazing rise in the indie gaming scene with standouts like Braid, Super Meat Boy and so on), to me there has been an ineffable facet of the gaming experience missing. A feeling of being adrift in a sea of apathy as a number of, quite frankly, mediocre or pedestrian games were released, with only a few sterling, shining examples coming along strategically to gouge wallets. I can’t have been alone in this feeling. The near-rabid embrace of the Kinect technology, mobile and hand-held gaming and Notch’s Minecraft, and the independent gaming market in general, (to name a few specific cases) shows clearly that there’s discontent with the previously established status quo and destination of “proper” gaming (I use that term purely as a means to encapsulate a near-indefinable concept. I have no problem with “non-hardcore” gamers. Again, same thing. Whatever, get off my back. Jerk.).

However, this year there is a different feeling in the air. There’s excitement. The sense of new ideas and new theories being tried, discussed, implemented. Or old concepts done with breath-taking beauty (Cut to Skyrim for that one, folks). The sheer inundation of amazing content shown at the conference harks back to the previously glorious E3s of yesteryear. There also seems to have been a graphical quantum leap. I know we all say that graphics aren’t important but one only has to look at the gameplay trailer of Battlefield 3 on HD to be blown away, fall to your knees and thank whatever deity brought you such a thing of astonishing beauty. Seriously, that video could inspire me to write love songs or invade Troy if they abducted it. Similarly, look at Rage. It’s like watching the Mona Lisa animate, pull out a gun and mow down an army of goons. Poetry in motion.

What’s the point of this article? Who knows? Perhaps, it’s just the documentation of a restoration of faith in a lifetime’s love. A bow of respect to the creative forces in the industry starting to stand up to the moneyed fat cats that had taken up the guiding reins: by making video games, their creation and the world around them, fun again.

Perhaps, it’s because they’ve run out of horse tranqs and I’ve got long enough to write this before they get me under again.
We’ll let history decide.

I won’t spoil anymore of the trailers for you with inadequate summaries and descriptions. Go out and consume them, absorb their essence and feel renewed. However I will here include my 5 personal favourites of the bunch (In no particular order):

Side Note: Watch these in HD. Otherwise, I’ll come to your house and cut you.

1. The catalyst for this article: The Saint’s Row 3 trailer

(Don’t rate it down because of this article. If you feel the need to comment on my uniquely disastrous style: send me a carrier pigeon, wait 7 days and then get on with your life)

2. The cinematic trailer for Tomb Raider, the prequel adventure of Lara Croft

3. The Well Gameplay trailer for Rage

4. The teaser trailer for Deus Ex Human Revolution

5. The Opening Cinematic trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic

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